Friday, October 22, 2010

LA Kings vs. Carolina Hurricanes at The Staples Center

Hockey on TV is sooo boring. The players always seem far away, you can't really see the puck, no one scores and the players don't have much facial personality. But after my beloved basketball, hockey is by far my favorite sport to watch live. There is just so much excitement- big burly bodies crashing into each other, players gracefully jumping on and off the ice, said ice flying everywhere, power plays and goal attempts and most importantly to us mammals- the constant promise of a good old fashioned beat down.

When our fight finally came in the 3rd period it was like Christmas had come 2 months early. Seriously, the crowd was euphoric. And what a crowd it was. The Staples Center was surprisingly packed with mostly beefy guys in hockey jerseys who clearly love their Kings. Lots of kids were there as well and it was a very family friendly activity.... as long as you weren't sitting with us. Because behind Lonnie and me were three of the most obnoxious frat court fratties who ever lived. And they lived for starting "you suck" chants, throwing out every hockey term they could think of, and even uttering the comical phrase, "I could do so much better than this PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE THAT I AM NOT."

It was so much fun!

The LA Kings' organization put on a great show. There were all the usual halftime gimmicks- little leaguers playing a half court game, men with frosted tips who look vaguely like Ryan Seacrest throwing out t-shirts and handing out coupons. The players also skated out of a mock castle (they are the Kings), and there were hot, ice girls who scraped up the ice during breaks, sad looking "celebrities" riding kick-ass painted Zamboni's and a crazy mascot named Bailey, the Lion who seemed to have forgotten his meds.

The Staples Center is an amazingly efficient machine. Four professional sports teams play there, not to mention the countless shows, yet everything is neat and clean. There are tons of bars, yummy food that is relatively reasonably priced, a smoking patio that overlooks LA Live, where we definitely smelled weed and the staff is pretty friendly. We had awesome lower seats, thanks to my dapper and lovely friend Kevin. Parking is an easy five minute walk away and only $10.00 per car. It was just a very smooth time.

The night reminded me how much I love sporting events and how I hope in my old age to just have lots of season tickets in cushy chairs. My husband and I will drive up from our beach house in our golf cart and stay in one of our children's houses....anyway. It also made me a little sad because I feel like we Angeleno's don't go to nearly as many sporting events as our friends in smaller markets do. Travel is always a bitch, the tickets are often too expensive and parking is often a nightmare (I once had my tires slashed at a Dodgers' game). So here's my challenge to LA teams- have a "hipster night." Make tickets half off, print up some ironic t-shirts that fade easily, serve Pabst Blue Ribbon and say the night is "green" because you are using recyclable water to make ice for the drinks.

They'll be fans for life.

Travel: B-
Ease: B
Content: A+
Subjective Coolness: A+
Overall: A-

Directions: Come on, it's the Staples Center. You can figure that one out.
Hours: Home game schedule is here-
Price: Tix range from $30(nosebleeds) to $135.00 and above. Parking and drinks add up but not exorbitantly.

Thanks for the awesome video Lonnie!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Brewery Bi-Annual ArtWalk(scroll down for pics)

Once upon a time in 1902, in the Lincoln Heights section of Los Angeles, a power plant was built for the Edison Electric company. Later, the complex became a Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery. One chuckles to imagine what the hard-working men and women who worked at this temple to the orderly would have thought, when in 1982, many strange and avant-garde folks took over the break rooms, the boiler rooms, the bosses' office and the infirmary and filled them with paint thinners, art books,mannequins painted gold...

and from what I could smell...lots of weed.

The Brewery is often called "the largest art colony in the world." The spaces range from two-story carriage house style places with a patio area to tiny little concrete rooms up the stairs and around the whitewashed corner in the main building. The co-op who runs The Brewery claims to only rent to artists, which begs the question- would my bubble head doodles count?

The vibe at The Brewery is amazing. When we went it was packed with people drinking beer, children playing, teenagers on bikes and incense galore. It was happy and New York edgy and filled with hipsters of all ages. The grounds are beautiful, with trees growing around the industrial buildings, statues made with found objects in drainage ditches and murals on the side of old brick walls. A Bruce Springsteen song meeting Ani DiFranco.

Being welcomed from studio to loft with artworks, music and sometimes cookies fostered a sense of community one rarely feels anymore. The artists were there to talk to you and though everything was for sale, no one pressured you to buy anything. It was a privilege to be allowed to see where the artists sleep, create, eat, and if some of the works are any indication, have kinky sex. Someone should do a documentary about this place. It feels like Melrose Place with a dirty beard (for you North Carolinians- imagine Carrboro dropped in an old cigarette factory).

Unfortunately, the awesomeness doesn't quite extend to the art. Most of the works had a handy-hobby quality that made them seem amateur and almost cheap. There were a few standouts I really enjoyed: Mike Pedersen, Jill Sykes, Teale Hatheway, Sam Kopels and the delightful Amy Lynn. But honestly my favorite thing was seeing how these aesthetically gifted people had arranged their living spaces. It was like a home and garden tour for this poor hipster, and what can I say? I am still titillated by folks' bathroom cabinets. I guess at heart I'm just a big old snoop.


Directions:Take Sunset East into Downtown Los Angeles. Turn Left on Alameda. Turn Right onto Alpine Street.Turn left onto Main Street. Take Main Street about a mile, turn right on Moulton Avenue (located two blocks past Lamar St.). 2100 North Main Street.
Hours: Semi-Annual, Spring and Fall. Check out website for more info:
Price:Free, free, free like the artists who live here.